The Big Buy
In 1934, Broward County Truck Farms, Inc., a corporation owned by H. L. “Bud” lyons and Benjamin F. Bailey, purchased 6,200 acres of farmland west of Pompano. This was the largest single land purchases since the 1920s land boom period.
Safe in Pompano
Although set in Fort Lauderdale and for the most part filmed there, the 1962 movie Safe at Home also had some scenes shot in Pompano Beach. The film featured baseball stars Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris (coming off their record-breaking home run feats during the 1961 season) and actor William Frawley. Safe at Home has been listed by some critics among the worst sports movies of all time.
Change of Clothing
In 1985, the Florida State Seal was revised to more accurately reflect the state’s heritage. One of the changes was to portray the Indian in the Seal as a Seminole, rather than the Plains Indian that had been pictured there since 1868.
Clambake by the Lighthouse
Although Elvis Presley’s 1967 movie, Clambake, was set in Miami, all of the filming with the actors was completed in California (leading to shots of “Miami” with mountains in the background). Some exterior shots were filmed in Florida — mostly in Miami but also in Lighthouse Point.
From 1907 when the Hillsboro Lighthouse began operations until 1943, only three individuals served as Lighthouse Keepers: Alfred A. Berghell (1907 - 1911), Thomas Knight (1911 - 1936) and Benjamin F. Stone (1936 - 1943). Since then, there have been 21 Keepers at the lighthouse.
In 1930, a heavy stone breakwater, 260 feet long, was installed from the base of the Hillsboro Lighthouse to the ocean. This project was undertaken to stabilize the point of land on the north side of the inlet, which had sustained significant erosion in recent hurricanes (1926 and 1928) as well as other storms.
Although it was established in 1954, Pompano Beach’s First Presbyterian Church did not formally join that denomination until 1956. Initially it described itself as a “community church.”
Markham Elementary School, located in Pompano Beach at 1501 NW 15th Avenue is named for C. Robert Markham (1908 - 1966), who served as Broward County Property Appraiser from 1964 to 1966, when he died in office from a heart attack. His son, William Markham (1940 - 2004) also was elected to be Broward County Property Appraiser, serving for 36 years until he too died in office from a heart...
Moms Free at Sample-McDougald House
In honor of Mothers’ Day, the Sample-McDougald House will offer free admission to all Moms who visit the historic house with one or more of their children. The house will be open for tours on Saturday, May 11th, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, and light refreshments will be served. The historic Sample-McDougald House is located at 450 NE 10th Street, Pompano Beach, and is the only...
A Man Before His Time
In all probability, the first person who sought to develop and sell land in what is today Broward County was Arthur Williams. In 1887 he purchased 100 acres of land in what is today Fort Lauderdale, on the south side of the New River. He called the development Palm City and advertised 50 by 100-foot lots at $10.00 each. Apparently, only a little over a couple dozen lots were sold, and many of...
Tags for the Seminoles
TALLAHASSEE — The State cabinet Wednesday made its annual gift of 100 automobile license plates of Florida Seminole Indians. “We went down there about ten years ago for a pow-wow with the Seminoles,” Commissioner of Agriculture Nathan Mayo recalled. “They said they didn’t want us to do anything for them except leave them alone and give them a hundred auto tags. ...
Monthly Program at Art Hall in May
The Historical Society’s monthly public program will be moving a few blocks away on May 15th — to Art Hall (50 NE First Street, Pompano Beach) where artworks with an “Old Pompano” theme will be on display. The event will be held from 5:30 to 8:00 pm and will include food and entertainment. The art will be produced under the auspices of the Broward Art Guild. On...
A state-wide manhunt was underway today for a lone bandit who successfully held up the Farmers Bank of Pompano and made off with more than $11,000. The masked bandit entered the bank last night [Friday, January 31st] just a few minutes before the 7 p.m. closing. He carried a sawed-off shotgun and a brown leather briefcase. There were only three customers in the bank at that time and the man...
The Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo, which takes place in a couple weeks, began in 1965 as a project of the Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce. It was intended to help keep tourists in the area for just a little while longer and to support the local charter fishing boats. In 1978, the Rodeo was incorporated as a non-profit organization.
Gertrude Mason Blount (1900 - 1981) was one of a small number of early Pompano residents who did not come from the South — she was a native New Yorker. Her family arrived here in 1917. She graduated from Fort Lauderdale High School (there was no high school at that time in Pompano), where she was elected president of her class. In 1921, she married William H. Blount (1888 - 1966), one of...
On This Date in 1562
On April 30, 1562, a French expedition consisting of two ships under the command of Jean Ribaut landed in Florida near St. Augustine. The expedition consisted of 140 French Huguenots (Protestants) seeking to establish a colony in the New World. Ribaut then sailed northward to the mouth of the St. Johns River, where he had a stone marker erected which contained the French Coat of arms,...
The Shrinking County
When Palm Beach County was created in 1909, Pompano was its southernmost town. The new county had about 5,300 residents and included areas that would later become Boward (1915), Okeechobee (1917) and Martin (1925) counties.
Beans to Bovines
Prior to its incorporation as a City in July 1963, the area that was to become Coral Springs was part of a huge tract of land acquired by Henry “Bud” Lyons between 1911 and 1939 that totaled over 20,000 acres of marshy wilderness in western Broward County. Clearing and draining the land himself, with the help of workers from the Bahamas, most of the land was used to grow beans, earning him the...
Pompano State Farmer' Market
The Pompano State Farmers’ Market (PSFM), established in 1939, is one of the oldest markets in the states’ Farmers’ Market system. The market initially served Broward County agricultural producers as an assembly point for fruits and winter vegetables. Local producers brought their fresh produce to the market where it was graded, packed and shipped to local and state markets. ...
Dedicating Everglades National Park
The establishment of this park is an object lesson and an example to the entire Nation that sound conservation depends upon the joint endeavors of the people and their several governments. Responsibility is shared by town and State and the Federal Government, by societies and legislatures and all lovers of nature. No man can know every element that makes a nation great. Certainly the lofty...
There are many colorful stories about Eugene Theodore “Cap’ Knight, who founded what is today the oldest continuously-operating restaurant in Broward County — Cap’s Place Island Restaurant in Lighthouse Point. Many of these stories are about Cap’s ability to skirt the law, whether it be in regard to alcohol, gambling or turtle eggs. Bud Garner related another Cap...
It is not exactly land, and not exactly water. There is too much water to travel by land, and too much rank saw-edged grass to journey freely by water. The only relief to its level prairie-like monotony is a dotting of islets heavy with tropical growths, and usually plumed with one or two palmettos. Excerpt from Clifton Johnson, “The Everglades” in Highways and Byways of Florida....
Small Town News
One of the joys of reading early 20th century newspapers is the columns that note the comings and goings in a community: Pompano, Fla, Aug 31. - The new excavator for the rock pit has arrived and will soon be ready to begin work on the roads. Mrs. A. E. Harry is installing a Delco Lighting system in her home. Mr. and Mrs. Ben Turner have returned from their summer trip, accompanied by Mrs....
The Death of Captain Parr
Captain James Wesley Parr, 35, died on August 11, 1966 in [the] Pompano canal while chasing an inmate who escaped from an inmate road crew working on U.S. 441. He was a Captain at Pompano Beach Road Prison at the time. Those are the only facts in this case that are without controversy. Associate County Medical Examiner Dr. Joseph C. Rupp is quoted in the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel the...
Crash on the Beach
On January 15, 1974, a twin-engine airplane approached the shoreline of Pompano Beach with one of its engines aflame. It dived and crashed on the beach near the Pompano Beach Club, which was under construction at the time. No one on the ground was injured, but all three people on the plane were killed in the crash. Authorities found that the plane was carrying an estimated ton of marijuana,...
John I. Warren (1880 - 1962), one of the individuals who voted to incorporate Pompano in 1908, later served as the town’s postmaster from 1915 - 1919.
Stack's Second a Success
In 1966 the Florida’s 10th Congressional District was redistricted to include most of Broward County and part of northern Dade County (previously the 10th District had been located in the Tampa area). Pompano Beach commissioner ran for the new Congressional seat, but was beaten by in the Republican primary J. Herbert Burke. During the campaign, Stack was accused of being the candidate of...
Raise the Flag
On April 20th at 2:00 pm, the local Daughters of the American Revolution will hold a flag-raising ceremony at the Sample-McDougald House (450 NE 10th Street, Pompano Beach). The event will include the presentation of an American flag from the DAR to be flown at the historic house. The public is invited to witness this patriotic ceremony.
Crash on the Course
On May 23, 1983, local golfers were surprised when a single-engine airplane approaching Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Airport clipped a tree top and crashed, landing in a canal at Palm Aire’s Cypress Golf Course in Pompano Beach. The pilot was killed and his wife seriously injured in the accident.
Florida Power & Light Company [FPL], was formed in the midst of the Florida Land Boom, on December 28, 1925. It was created through the purchase of existing businesses and in its initial incarnation the company was an “unlikely patchwork of enterprises included small electric generating plants, ice plants, water, gas, fish, telephone, sawmill and street car companies, a steam laundry,...
The Historical Society will hold its spring covered dish supper on April 17th, 6:30 pm at the Dick & Miriam Hood Center (217 NE 4th Avenue, Pompano Beach). Bring a dish to share and enjoy the best meal in Pompano Beach — we’ll supply the drinks and tableware. Our May program will move to Art Hall (50 NE 1st Street, Pompano Beach) for an exhibit of “Old...
The first person to be nominated as a Broward County Pioneer by the Pompano Beach Historical Society was Elizabeth Hardy Warren (1895 - 1984), in 1973. Known in Pompano Beach as “Aunt Bettie,” she came to Pompano with her family by boat from Hypoluxo in 1899. Her father was Isaac I. Hardy who served as a county commissioner in both Palm Beach and Broward counties. In 1913 she...
From the West Coast
Yesterday, we mentioned that unlike most of his Pompano neighbors, George Hamilton was not born in the South. Another non-Southerner who arrived early in Pompano was Thomas H. Chapman (1870 - 1957). Chapman, who came to Pompano in 1904 to build and run a packing plant, was originally from California.
For the first half of the 20th century, Pompano was a profoundly Southern town, with most of its residents having come from northern Florida, Georgia and other surrounding deep south states. There were notable exceptions, through. C. George Hamilton (1907 - 1982), who worked at and owned several pharmacies in Pompano Beach was originally from Kansas. His family came to South Florida in 1923...
A. Wesley Parrish
A. Wesley Parrish (1913 - 1985) was born in Adel, Georgia, and arrived in Pompano with his family in 1926. His father opened a hardware store here and operated it until his death in 1933. Wesley and his brother took over the store, but closed it in 1938. Following service in World War II, Wesley worked as an electrical contractor. In 1951 he acquired the General Elelctric appliance delaership...
Henry Vivian Saxon (1908 - 1981) was born in Hampton, Florida and came to Pompano with his family in 1920. In 1954, following the death of County Commissioner S. C. Fox, Florida Governor Charley Johns appointed Saxon to serve out Fox’s term. He was subsequently reelected and continued to serve as a commissioner until 1965.
Johnson, Oscar Kelly (Nunie) passed away on Saturday, March 23, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Gail; her son, Jarrel (Debby) of New Orleans; brother, Edward Carl (Carlie) partner Mary; 10 beloved nieces and nephews; and numerous grand-niece and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Oscar Kelly and Callie Johnson; brother John William Johnson; and sister, Mary Virginia Blythe. Oscar...
Mary Shaw Sanders
Mary was born in Monson,Pennsylvania, in 1899. She attendedSteubenville College,Ohio, and graduated fromKentUniversity,Kent,Ohio. In 1924 she came to Pompano and became assistant principal atPompano BeachHigh School. She was a charter member of the Garden Club, member of the Women’s Club, charter member of Eastern Star, Wesleyan Daughters and American Legion. She once told friends that when she...
“The wealth of south Florida, but even more important, the meaning and significance of south Florida lies in the black muck of the Everglades and the inevitable development of this country to be the great tropic agricultural center of the world.” Marjory Stoneman Douglas (prior to her becoming a defender of the Everglades ecosystem).
Tomorrow (March 20th) at the Historical Society - our monthly public program will focus on old photos. We’ll be displaying some of the interesting images from our collection and ask those attending to bring with them old Pompano photos they might have in their albums and shoe boxes. It will be a night of audience participation as we identify and discuss views of yesteryear. 7:00 pm at...
The Florida Highwaymen art exhibit and sale takes place this weekend at the Sample-McDouglad House (450 NE 10th Street, Pompano Beach). Friday, March 22nd: A preview reception (5:30 - 8:30 pm) will allow guests to view the art and meet the artists (and get an early opportunity to purchase art) while enjoying food, beverages and entertainment. Tickets are $50.00 per person. Saturday,...
Ernst Harry (1901 - 1987)
In 1910, Ernest Harry was eight years old when his family arrived in Pompano from North Carolina. They settled south of what is now Sample Road in a small house just off Old Dixie Highway. Young Ernest and his six brothers and sisters attended the one room schoolhouse in Pompano which offered grades from first through eighth. The family raised pineapples on their farm, and the boys worked with...
An Idea Before Its Time
The Intracoastal Waterway was not completed along Florida’s east coast until 1935, butthe idea for an inland navigation route along the Atlantic seaboard goes back at least as far as 1808, when U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin submitted a report that noted the benefits of a continuous series of canals to provide “… inland navigation, secure from storms and enemies.”
Pompano Beach’s highest officially recorded temperature was 99°F in July of 1980. It’s lowest temperature was 28°F, recorded in January, 1977.
Little House on the Frontier
Pompano’s first mayor, John R. Mizell, was born during the Second Seminole War era (his birthdate is variously stated as being in 1838 or as early as 1835) in the north Florida town of Alachua. It is said his family’s home was built as a fortification to provide protection against Seminole attacks.
In America, commercial production of pineapples began in earnest in Florida in the late 19th century. In fact, for a short time, Florida was among the world’s most prolific producer’s of pineapple. However, by the 1930s, pineapple production in Florida began to fall off, largely due to changes in climate and increased competition from central America and Hawaii. Excerpt from...
Baseball in the Rough
Before Pompano had a municipal park, baseball games were played in an open field at the corner of NE First Avenue and Fourth Street (near where the old Dairy Queen Building is located). The ground was rough and the games could be brutal. As Bud Garner recalls, “These were tough conditions for baseball but it had to be played on fields such as this in the beginning. There were no seats,...
McNab, James Dennis age, 75, of Pompano Beach, went home to be with the Lord on March 4, 2013. A member of one of Pompano Beach’s founding families, he was the only child of James Albert McNab and Mildred McNab. Dennis, a graduate of Florida Southern College, was a member of Christ United Methodist Church, the Pompano Beach Historical Society, and Pompano Beach Elks Lodge 1898. He is...
In 1921 a caravan of three Model T Fords left Suwannee County, Florida, bound for Pompano. The automobiles carried the families of W. B. Cheshire, Joe Johns and Ben Bailey. It took them three days to travel from the little town of Wellborn to their destination. The first day they made it to Hastings and the second to Eau Galle (now Melbourne). On the third day they followed the paved Dixie...